125 Impressive High and Tight Haircut Ideas and Designs for 2020

Different men want different things. That’s a given. What we also know for sure is that every year, every season, and every decade brings a new trend that men love to jump on to make sure they’re cool and hip. However, there are some men who want to mix all that with the idea of simplicity. If you believe this is the perfect description of yourself, we have found a hairstyle that will fit you like a glove. Or like a hat, for that matter. It’s the high and tight haircut.

We’ve dedicated a special piece to this wonderful hairstyle in which we’re going to detail how to get it, how to style it, what products you can use to maintain it, the history of the haircut itself, and what celebrities have been wearing it. So make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom!


What Is a High and Tight Haircut?

The high and tight is actually a variation of the buzz cut. But it offers a bit more pizzazz so to say, in case you find the buzz cut too boring or bland. Therefore, the high and tight consists of two parts. The high refers to a single strip of short hair on top of the head. It needs to be centered extremely well, as if it were forming the base of a Mohawk.

The tight refers to the rest of the haircut. That means the sides and the back of the head. They need to be shaved within an inch or buzzed if you will. There is no taper or fade when it comes to the classic high and tight haircut. That’s because this hairstyle originated in the army and it had a utilitarian purpose, as you will see when we detail its history below. However, in modern times, the haircut has seeped into mainstream culture and civilians have started wearing it as well. They are the ones who crossed it with fades and Mohawks.

Where Did the High and Tight Haircut Originate?

As mentioned previously, this is a hairstyle that comes from the military. It had a primarily utilitarian purpose. This means that it was a very short haircut that could keep lice away. Soldiers could easily wash and dry their hair, even with cold water without risking getting sick or taking too much time grooming.

In the same way, this haircut was very easy to get. The soldiers cut buzz each other’s heads. Or they could even give themselves a haircut if need be. This also translates into the fact that you can learn how to do a high and tight haircut on yourself at home.

The haircut was adopted by many branches of the US Army, if the internal rules and regulations permitted it. However, the ones who wore it most are the United States Marine Corps. But you should know that’s it’s not a compulsory thing. The boys get it if they want it. Plus, they are typically called jarheads because of the haircut which makes them look a bit like a mason jar. It is believed that the high and tight first appeared in the military in the 80s.

However, not long after that, civilians took to the look and started wearing this hairstyle themselves. Most specialists and professional stylists agree that it’s a very daring, extreme, and even aggressive look for a civilian. That’s why you need to think twice before getting it.

Remember that the high and tight haircut did originate in the army. Therefore, it puts a certain message out there about you. Still, the haircut might be perfect for individuals who want a very traditionally masculine yet low-maintenance look. If you’re one of those men, keep on reading!

Also Read: 110 Medium Length Hairstyles for Men That Will Make a Statement


How to Style a High and Tight Haircut

Although we wish we could give you a straight answer, in fact it all depends on what you have decided to pair your high and tight with. In other words, if you have a classic high and tight haircut, you can relax. There’s nothing much you can do in terms of styling. It’s a very short and simple haircut that you will only have to maintain once a month or so, depending on how fast or slow your hair grows.

However, if you have a Mohawk, an Ivy League high and tight, spikes, a flat top, or an Afro, you will need to learn how to style your hair depending on your choice of haircut.

A Mohawk and a set of spikes will most likely require a lot of hair wax to get your hair in that position. You can also use some hairspray to set it as well as some hair gel if you want to rock it old school. However, if you have a curly Mohawk or an Afro, then you need to invest in some high-quality styling products for curly hair.

Barbers usually style curly or kinky hair using a sponge that helps them create that neat look you see on top of this kind of haircut. The good news is that hair sponges are very cheap and incredibly easy to use. Therefore, if you don’t want to pay your barber a visit all the time, buy yourself a special sponge and binge watch some tutorials online! You’ll learn in no time how to style your high and tight haircut!

The Best Modern High and Tight Haircut Ideas

Let’s take a look at some of the most amazing modern high and tight haircut ideas that you can draw inspiration from.

·         The High and Tight Fade

As the name suggests, this variations combines the high and tight haircut with the more modern fade. Just like we mentioned previously, the classic high and tight should not come with any kind of taper. But this is the 2010s we are talking about, and men would add a fade to their arm hair if they could. It just so happens that this is one of the most glorious combinations out there that you can try.

·         The Wavy High and Tight

One of the things that no one can ignore about this particular hairstyle is that it’s a bit intimidating. It comes from the army for a reason. And, on the right person it can even look a bit daunting. Therefore, you need to try and find ways to soften it up a little bit so that you don’t end up scaring your coworkers.

One of the easiest ways to soften your look and hairstyle for that matter is by adding a touch of texture to it. If you already have naturally wavy hair, this will be incredibly easy. Cut the high part of the haircut a little longer and let Mother Nature do the rest. If you have straight hair, have your stylist give you a feathery cut on the top part. This will give the illusion of texture even for straight hair.

·         The Slick Back High and Tight Haircut

This is, without a question, every hipster’s favorite. But you don’t have to be a hipster yourself to wear it, so don’t worry. Meet the high and tight haircut with a considerable length on top that has been slicked back. It’s an extremely contemporary cut that seamlessly blends the slickness of shiny pomade with the modernism of the taper fade.

The great thing about it is the length on top. It definitely leaves so much room to play with and style it as you will. In fact, if it’s long enough, you might even get away with a man bun or a top knot. Not to mention man braids which are incredibly fashionable right now.

Still, make sure you ask your stylist to give you the so-called ‘high corners’ if you opt for a slick back high and tight. They will elongate your crop and make it come very high up on the sides.

Can I Get the High and Tight Haircut?

Sure you can. You’re a grown man. But that’s not what we meant. We’re talking, of course, about different facial structures. You’ll be happy to find out that the high and tight is quite a forgiving hairstyle that can accommodate a lot of facial types. Let’s take a look.

The High and Tight for Round Faces

In all fairness, round faces may be some of the trickiest shapes to dress up with a hairdo. But the high and tight has got you covered. What you need to do is go for some added length. Why? Because then you can style it into a Mohawk, a quiff, a fauxhawk, or even a bold pompadour. The idea here is that the added height will elongate your face, making it seem oval rather than round.

The High and Tight for Square Faces

If you have a classic square face, you’re a lucky man. It’s an easy facial structure to work with that can house a lot of different hairstyles on the roof. However, you still need to improve it just a smidge. That being said, you will have to soften your features a little bit, especially as you advance in your years.

When you’re a teenager and young man, it won’t matter as much because you still have a youthful feel to you that makes you look soft. However, as you grow old, square faces tend to look harsh and a bit rigid. Therefore, you should go for a flat top or a high and tight haircut with a wavy top that makes you look mellower.

The High and Tight for Heart-Shaped Faces

The best option you have if you want to try a high and tight haircut with a heart-shaped face is to allow a little length on top but also grow a beard. In this way you will create the illusion that your structure is well-balanced out by just using hair.

The High and Tight for Oval Faces

We have arrived at the cherry on top of the barber’s cake. Oval faces are considered to be the most attractive facial shapes of all. That’s why most actors have them. Because they look pleasing when blown up twenty times over on the big screen. In the same way, barbers love oval faces because there is not one single haircut that doesn’t look good on them. Therefore, you can have your pick of high and tight haircut variations. There’s nothing to correct here!

Celebrities Wearing the High and Tight Haircut

One of the most famous high and tight instances we’ve seen in recent years is when Brad Pitt wore it in Fury. Of course, it wasn’t a classic military type of haircut. He did play an army man himself in the movie, so it makes sense why his hairstyle was a high and tight. However, it was adapted and modernized for the audience of the second part of the 2010s.

Connor McGregor also sports a high and tight which is very famous. Many men have hurried to copy his hairstyle since he became a star athlete. The fighter has buzzed or tapered sides and an Ivy League top with a side part. He uses pomade or gel for a shiny finish to make it look even sleeker and more elegant.

Actors Tom Hardy and Johnny Depp have both sported the high and tight haircut as has singer Zayn Malik formerly in the pop band One Direction. This eclectic group of celebrities that includes singers, actors, and athletes of all ages shows that the high and tight haircut is truly a versatile haircut which fits anyone.


All you need to do is find the right version meant for you. Of course, you can look to your favorite celebrities for inspiration, you can discuss your options at length with your stylist or you can write to us in the comment section below. Let us know how you feel about the high and tight haircut or if you have any questions. Are you more of a Tom Hardy or more of a Zayn Malik? Or are you a classic high and tight guy?

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